STEMuli, a Web3 education startup, announced $3.25 million in seed funding Tuesday. The investment was co-led by Slauson & Co and Valor Ventures, with participation from Draper Associates.
Based in Dallas, STEMuli is building an educational metaverse that facilitates both online and offline learning. The company plans to use its new funds to expand its reach to new markets like New York, California, Illinois, Georgia and Washington, D.C.
The idea behind STEMuli is to keep students engaged through its 3D game-based platform that makes learning feel more like a video game than sitting in a classroom.
The company’s metaverse was first developed in 2016 and used by students at Dallas Hybrid Prep, a natural choice for STEMuli’s launch, given the school reputation as Texas’ first hybrid school. STEMuli’s approach to learning has already had a positive impact on the school, as its test scores are outpacing other schools in its district.
“The Metaverse consists of the STEMuli navigator, a GPS of learning that ensures every learner reaches their destination every time. Soon learning will be as reliable and ubiquitous as Google Maps,” STEMuli founder and CEO Taylor Shead said in a statement. “We are pioneering the learn-to-earn model to increase engagement, and utilizing AI to improve teacher’s productivity. The Metaverse is a game-changer for teachers and learners.”
STEMuli’s impact doesn’t stop at the classroom, though. STEMuli’s Workplace product connects students with mentors to help them build skills, find internships and apply for jobs, college and scholarships. This feature aims to bring companies and their future workforce of K-12 students together to bridge achievement and employment gaps. As students grow, their achievements and portfolios are also stored on the STEMuli Workplace platform, making it easier to leverage their resume when applying for new opportunities.
“We’re bringing this technology to the country’s largest urban school districts, of which the majority of the students are economically disadvantaged,” Shead said. “Our vision is to improve learning outcomes by providing all students with an experience that rivals playing their favorite video game.”
This funding comes after a record year of growth for STEMuli. In 2021, the company was named the STOP Award’s most transformative app for students by Forbes and The Center for Education Reform.
STEMuli is also one of 95 companies owned by a Black woman to raise more than $1 million, which is significant in a field where Black women receive less than 0.3 percent of total venture capital investments. Shead said in a statement that she hopes her success story will be an inspiration to young Black women and girls, that they will look at her and think, “I can do that too; I can build technology the world needs and loves.”